California Governor Gavin Newsom announces new Covid-19 vaccine mandate in Alameda Monday

Ed Walsh
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced new vaccine mandate MondayOffice of California Governor Gavin Newsom

Governor Gavin Newsom said at a briefing on Monday in Alameda that he is taking decisive action to combat the spread of COVID-19 and protect vulnerable communities. The governor said he is doing so by implementing a first-in-the-nation standard to require all state workers and workers in health care and high-risk congregate settings to either show proof of full vaccination or be tested at least once per week. He governor said he is encouraging all local government and other employers to adopt a similar protocol.

“We are now dealing with a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and it’s going to take renewed efforts to protect Californians from the dangerous Delta variant,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “As the state’s largest employer, we are leading by example and requiring all state and health care workers to show proof of vaccination or be tested regularly, and we are encouraging local governments and businesses to do the same. Vaccines are safe – they protect our family, those who truly can’t get vaccinated, our children and our economy. Vaccines are the way we end this pandemic.”

Governor Newsom also announced Monday that the state will also be requiring health care settings to verify that workers are fully vaccinated or tested regularly. Unvaccinated workers will be subject to at least weekly COVID-19 testing and will be required to wear appropriate PPE. This requirement also applies to high-risk congregate settings like adult and senior residential facilities, homeless shelters and jails.  Governor Newsom says these steps will help protect vulnerable patients and residents.

The new policy will take effect August 2 and testing will be phased in over the next few weeks, the state said Monday. The policy for health care workers and congregate facilities will take effect on August 9, and health care facilities will have until August 23 to come into full compliance.

“California has administered more vaccines than any other state, with 75 percent of those eligible having gotten at least one dose, and we were weeks ahead of meeting President Biden’s 70 percent goal. But we must do more to fight disinformation and encourage vaccine-hesitant communities and individuals,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “The Delta variant is up to 60 percent more infectious than the Alpha strain but many times more infectious than the original COVID-19 strain. If you have been waiting to get vaccinated, now is the time.”

The state is also promoting the following Community/Business Partnerships

  • "Barbershops: “Helping Communities Help Themselves” is a partnership with the Black Beauty and Wellness Foundation that has established 100 statewide barber shops, beauty shops and beauty supply stores as community-based COVID-19 resource centers. Shops and stylists are promoting information about vaccines and masking up until you are vaccinated.
  • "Higher Educational Institutions: The campaign has engaged the CCC, CSU, and UC systems, as well as the AICCU (Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities) to share information about the Vaccinate ALL 58 campaign and opportunities to partner and encourage more students to get vaccinated so they can safely return to campus. Each of these groups was provided a customizable toolkit.
  • "School-Based Organizations: School based organizations are assisting with a back-to-school push through a toolkit and earned media opportunities.
  • "Faith-Based Outreach: Faith-based organizations and leaders are trusted messengers in their communities. Through these networks, the campaign is able to provide clear, factual and accurate information about vaccines to faith leaders and their communities. Many of these partnerships have led to co-hosting vaccine clinics in the faith communities.
  • "McDonald’s: McDonald’s is hosting over 150 vaccination pop-up clinics at more than 80 restaurant locations in 11 different LHJs across the state. 107 have already been completed.
  • "Six Flags: More than 42,000 of 50,000 available Six Flag tickets have been distributed at 100 participating vaccine locations throughout the state, mainly in low-income and high-need areas. Nearly every participating provider reported that the ticket incentive helped improve patient turnout, with one provider saying tickets helped encourage patients’ family members to get vaccinated. Another provider reported seeing a large uptick in teens deciding to get vaccinated to get a ticket."

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